Media lefties divine pension truths. Next up: Expose how Dem pols define ‘social justice’

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For a sharp and historically informed analysis of the pension follies of state Democratic lawmakers, no one is going to top Jerry Roberts’ and Phil Trounstine’s piece on Calbuzz.

Let’s be blunt. Democrats, whose political livelihoods have steadily and increasingly become dependent on union money since Jerry Brown in his first term signed the legislation that gave state employees collective bargaining rights, are terrified of moving an inch on pensions without permission and marching orders from the labor groups that finance their campaigns.

Flashreport, Greenhut warnings on Fletcher vindicated 10-fold

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Even before he quit the Republican Party in March, San Diego Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher had come into the cross hairs of influential Flashreport publisher Jon Fleischman and Steven Greenhut, the Sacramento-based libertarian think tanker, editor and pundit with a national following. Now, as an independent mayoral candidate in today’s elections in San Diego, Fletcher has lived up to their warnings. He’s essentially teamed up with public employee unions against San Diego’s leading critic of the government status quo, rival mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio. I provide the grisly details here at Cal Watchdog.

State’s 2 biggest school districts begin Potemkin village-ization

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Some 225 years ago, when empress Catherine the Great visited the Crimea region, legend has it that a Russian public official named Potemkin ordered construction of “villages” that looked great from afar but were actually just facades. Think the fake small town the good guys built in “Blazing Saddles.” Now many California school districts are beginning their Potemkin village-ization. To cover compensation costs that top 90 percent or more of operating budgets, everything must go until there are just facades of schools left. Everything must go, that is, but pay and pensions for veteran and retired teachers.

The CTA’s pending good deed: It’s going to kill the bullet train

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This Chris Reed fella, writing in the L.A. Daily News, has some good news about the California High-Speed Rail Authority:

Why would the [California Teachers Association and the California Federation of Teachers] turn on their normal allies and oppose plans for the bullet train? Because of the growing evidence that Gov. Jerry Brown thinks the only plausible way to fund the project is with the fees that heavy industries pay for the right to pollute under AB 32, the state’s landmark 2006 anti-global warming law. The state Legislative Analyst’s Office expects the fees from the “cap and trade” system to generate billions of dollars annually — perhaps as much as $14 billion by 2015.

When will lies about jobs make ‘green’ a synonym for dishonesty?

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Here’s my latest column for Cal Watchdog:

Just as red and blue have become associated with Republicans and Democrats, respectively, because of Election Night maps, will green someday become a synonym for fraud and dishonesty? After listening to Jerry Brown’s two years of lies, prevarications and fantasies about “green jobs,” I hope so. It would be semantic justice.

Jerry Brown is not a ‘rock star.’ He’s a crock star, selling a fake narrative.

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I was busy bonding with my new phone last week and never got around to writing about the nauseating story that described Gov. Jerry Brown as still a “rock star” on the national political scene. Maybe that holds with the naifs in the D.C. media, but here in California, Brown is far more accurately seen as a crock star. The gov nurses his image as a unique visionary, but the narrative is pure buncombe. Jerry defines his main role in the same way as all other machine Democrats in Sacramento: insulating public employees from budget pain by any means necessary, starting with preserving the absurd K-12 status quo that bases pay on seniority and irrelevant graduate coursework. Did you ever wonder why his tax hike plan is built entirely around the idea that it is crucial to funding public schools? Because teachers are the only public employees left who still have a good image — deserved or not. Now he’s putting down Molly Munger, even though her rival tax-hike-for-schools initiative is actually willing to acknowledge schools need reforming. Brown? His definition of reform is going back to local control — the same horrible arrangement that midwifed No Child Left Behind.

State education establishment’s misdeeds would be criminal in private sector

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This writer is one savvy son of a gun:

The proposal of a Democratic assemblyman to keep students from eating at food trucks instead of school cafeterias is ostensibly about public health, obesity and food safety. But while nanny state motives may be in play, it’s also easy to see this as the latest conscience-free effort to keep as much money as possible coming to public schools by any means necessary. Districts statewide face a constant struggle to find enough money for the salaries and benefits of their adult employees.

Traffic ticket insanity: Preview of California if Dems control taxes

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Every now and then a story comes along that precisely illustrates what would happen to California taxpayers if — when facing budget problems — two-thirds of the Legislature and the governor could take the easy way out and raise taxes instead of cutting and reforming programs, and ending automatic pay raises and unjustifiable retirement benefits that exist solely as a function of union political power. The Sac Bee story about how traffic tickets cost vastly more then their nominal penalty is a perfect example. What? You think it’s your money, not the government’s? Fool. And you think the government will act fairly when it deals with you and your money? Sap.

First unions, now greens, use state’s poor as political props

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When will the media finally figure out that the most powerful groups on the California left — public employees and environmentalists — use poor people as political props to get their way? Deny teachers their raises based on seniority and accumulation of meaningless graduate credits and you’re “punishing the kids” — no matter what the facts are. Get in the way of climate change policies? Then you’re a heartless cad who doesn’t realize that “low-income communities in California are more vulnerable to climate change-related health risks.” But what about the huge likelihood that AB 32′s main effect will be to impoverish poor people? Instead of prompting the rest of the world to follow California’s lead in switching to cleaner but costlier energy, the geniuses in Sacramento are on the brink of punishing the needy — all so rich greens in West L.A. and the Bay Area can feel good about their purity. Great, just great.

Steinberg: Only ‘far right’ wants big pension changes. PPIC: 68% back shift to 401(k)-type accounts

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According to legendary psychoanalyst Erik Erikson, a crucial stage of individual development comes from ages 5 to 13, as kids begin to develop complex interpretive skills and moral values and learn the importance of being industrious and serious of purpose. They leave childish fantasy, stubbornness and denial behind, adjusting to the world as it really is. Which brings me to Senate President Darrell Steinberg: Was he locked in a pantry from age 5 to 13? In asserting that only the “far right” want profound changes to public employee pensions, Steinberg is displaying a level of fantasy and denial more appropriate to a kindergartner than a powerful political leader. Yo, Darrell: A December PPIC poll shows 68 percent of the public backs switching new public employees to 401(k)-type benefits — including 64 percent of public employees!